Thursday, June 28, 2007

Meet Chris Dodd: Democratic Candidate for President

More information to help you decide which Democrat you'd like to support in next year's Presidential primary. Chris Dodd Senator from Connecticut.

Speaking Saturday in front of Nashua City Hall, where Kennedy kicked off his 1960 presidential campaign, Dodd proposed a sweeping national service program, starting with high school and extending through retirement.

His own time as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic changed his life, says Dodd, who plans to make national service a signature idea of his presidential campaign. He and thousands like him volunteered because, all those long decades ago, a dynamic young president asked them to think beyond themselves. It's time for America to re-establish that ethic, he says.


As a candidate, Dodd, who voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution, has come to advocate a quick end to US involvement there. An opponent of the surge, he calls for a March 2008 deadline for US troop withdrawal, and voted against the recent timeline-free war appropriation.

What if the result of US withdrawal is a more intense conflict between the Shia and Sunni?

"Well, then, that's it," he replies. "I can't solve every problem known to mankind. There are times, frankly, when . . . there's not a treasury deep enough or an army big enough to solve the problem."

On the environment, he advocates a 50-miles-per-gallon standard by 2017, a cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions, and a $50 billion carbon tax on polluting industries. Yes, that tax will raise gasoline prices by 10 cents a gallon or so, but it's needed to accelerate the move toward alternative energy, he says.

A full healthcare plan will be coming soon, aides say.

Then there's the $10 billion national service proposal he unveiled in Nashua : Requiring community work (compulsory volunteerism?) in high school, doubling the Peace Corps by 2011, dramatically increasing AmeriCorps, plus a "senior heroes" program to have retirees help in the schools.


"There is something deeper going on than just the individual issues that need to be resolved," he said. "There is the overriding issue of who we are, where we are going as a people, and whether or not there is any kind of shared experience we have."

Recalling his own Peace Corps days, he concluded: "Why did I feel so damn good, why did I say yes to a guy" -- JFK -- "who said, why don't a bunch of you do something different?"

Watching Dodd reinforces something I've written before: Despite the fascination with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the lesser known Democrats are more experienced, less packaged, and every bit as interesting.

They deserve a closer look -- and New Hampshire is just the place to give them one. Source.

Background on Dodd

See how he voted on important issues.